Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top five ways for public servants to escape Joe Hockey after the federal budget

Sick of Canberra? Tired of all the talk about the federal budget? Are the hipsters in Braddon making you feel too old?

If you're a public servant looking for a change of lifestyle there are many exotic places to head.

Some are located far enough from the Australian capital to provide safety at the moment of impact. This is when Joe Hockey and his henchmen are expected to walk through the corridors of federal departments swinging battle-axes to protect the country from lazy bureaucrats - such as those civilians in the Defence Signals Directorate who protect us against terrorism. Since when was terrorism ever a thing?

Below is top five a list of escape jobs for public servants. The benefits of moving are obvious - some of the jobs offer a 13th month's pay. But the application criteria can be very specific - you may need a Turkish driver's license and be able to show a demonstrated ability at driving an armoured car.

1. Thursday Island, Queensland (3000km from Canberra)

With annual mean temperatures fluctuating between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius and views of spectacularly blue water, this would surely have Canberra public servants daydreaming over their keyboards as bare tree branches ominously claw their office window in the middle of winter.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is looking for a number of staff across most classifications from APS1 through to to executive level 2 - that's salaries of $42,334 to $130,164 - to go on a register for temporary positions working for the Torres Strait Regional Authority in areas such as administration, finance and human resources.

Only part of the Torres Strait Islands capital is self-sufficient when it comes to water.

2. Antarctica (6000km from Canberra)

The Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) are constantly seeking people willing to work on the icy continent as part of future expeditions.

The bureau recruits technical officers, observers and meteorologists while the AAD finds scientists, stationsleaders, mechanics and plumbers. There is a lengthy selection process involving a fitness test and psychological assessment.

Beware: In such as isolated environment, major disputes can erupt from minor issues such as the crispiness of the bacon.

3. Taipei City, Taiwan (7000km from Canberra)

With a population of 2.6 million people, Taiwan's monsoonal capital already has something Canberra lacks: a light rail system.

Like Canberra it is also very proficient at recycling garbage.

The city beckons a public servant to provide high-level executive support within the Australian government's trade office.

It requires someone who can keep secrets after listening to confidential conversations as well as do some research tasks and organise events.

4. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (10,000km from Canberra)

A great place to go if you want somewhere colder than Canberra.

The temperature averages -9 degrees Celsius in winter. In even better news, Austrade is searching for a new trade commissioner to be based in the Mongolian capital, which has more than one million people.

The job is classified at executive level 2 (EL2) with a salary of up to $125,178.

Part of the role involves pushing Australia's mining interests (you can't get rid of those guys no matter how far you travel). One drawback is the pay is slightly less than the advertised post of senior trade commissioner to New Delhi, India, who will receive $145,388.

5. Istanbul, Turkey (14,000km from Canberra)

The Australian Trade Commission wants a driver who can double as an administrative assistant but the job description suggests this role may not be as easygoing as it sounds.

Applicants need a Turkish driver's license and the ability to drive and "operate every device" in the armoured vehicle.

Every trip will require the successful applicant to plan routes, plan alternate routes and identify "safe havens, emergency resources, and choke points" before departure.

The person also needs to "learn and practise surveillance detection and pre-attack recognition and avoidance skills" as well as have the ability to "employ vehicle bomb-search protocol when required".

The government's Smart Traveller website advises visitors to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey because of terrorist threats.

"Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks," the website says.

"Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere at any time in Turkey."

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